The change was made by the bill’s sponsor, State Rep. Bill Sanderson, after Attorney General Herbert Slatery III told legislators that mandating the phrase could be considered unconstitutional.
A Tennessee lawmaker has amended his bill to make the phrase “In God We Trust” optional instead of required on all license plates after an attorney general opinion found the requirement “constitutionally suspect.”
The amended bill also would eliminate the $19 million cost to Tennessee to manufacture new license plates by not making the phrase a requirement.
It’s the right move, and it’s also the option that should have been offered from the very beginning. There was never any rational, secular reason to force every Tennessean to promote God on their cars, just as it would’ve been unfair to put “In God We Don’t Trust” on all the plates.
Let’s hope this saga is finally over and the legislators have learned their lesson.
Oh, who am I kidding. They’re Republicans from the South. They’ll probably just file the original bill again next year when they think no one’s paying attention.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Brian for the link)